I wasn't too sure where to post this, so I chose to post it here.....
I will be teaching my first official adult class in a few weeks and i want to ask all the other hoop teachers out there.... how do you teach the person who comes to your class voluntarily, yet has convinced themself that they can't hoop and therefore... well.... can't. This has happened to me only a few times at festivals and I'm afraid it will happen in my class. Once I've given them all the tips I can.... if it's still not working for them... how do you make it happen?
If it is just waist hooping i give encouragement and also give other non waist based tricks as well. That way they can get some success and feel good which will help build confidences and can only help with the waist hooping.
I usually start with 5 min of waist hooping or attempting/practicing to waist hoop in a beginners class and then move on to a non waist trick. This way those who can't do it yet won't get too down about it and feel like they won't be able to do any thing in the class. Also sometimes if you just say 'we are all going to spend 5min trying to waist hoop ' then eventually they just knuckle down and give it a proper try because they know either way you will be spending 5 min on the skill and they have nothing else to do.
Some of the easy success tricks i like to teach to that level are:
-Hand hooping above the head
-Twist up start
these are all great because they are relatively easy but look quite fancy .
Good question! I'm interested in other's answers to this. I try to do a few things in all of my classes.
I don't let people say 'I can't' in class without putting a 'yet' at the end. As you said, people talk themselves out of things, so it's good to turn around negative thinking as quick as possible.
I give positive reinforcements on the stuff they CAN do i.e. some people are naturals at hand hooping, even though they may at first struggle with waist hooping. So focus on how good they are at that and let them know the other stuff will come with time.
I also always preface my classes by explaining that a lot of hooping relies on muscle memory - that if you don't get a move straight away, know that it will come in time and it's worth persevering until you get that AHA moment.
I also always mention that we need to be kind to ourselves and not compare ourselves to others, just like in a yoga practice. And when the class energy might be getting serious, where everyone is working super hard to get a trick, I tell everyone to smile! It's just a circle of plastic, don't let it get you down! And I'll throw in a silly move or pose that we can all do to relieve the tension.
Finally, to end the class, I like to go around the circle and talk about what we liked in the class and what we might have struggled with. I think this is useful in that students get positive vibes from their peers and feel good about what they've achieved but can also sympathise with each other about those tricky moves they're struggling with and feel like they're not alone in that.
Plus it's a great way to pick up your own mood as an instructor! Sometimes I think my class hasn't gone very well because I'm not seeing many smiles or I'm focusing on the students who are struggling. But I find out at the end that people really enjoyed the class, even though they may have found it challenging.
My sister was one of them! Never could hoop as a kid, & very dubious about trying. But she got it! And the great part about the I can'ts is that nobody is happier when they DO get it. It's a truly empowering moment for them.
A big, heavy, all-gaffers hoop makes a big difference here. Make sure they're properly clad. And I agree with Jane that if they just aren't getting the waist hooping at all, learning lasso, corkscrew, & other hand tricks can still be a real thrill. (Use a lighter hoop for that one though so nobody gets hurt.) I had one friend who took ages to learn to waist hoop, but she was bangin' on the hand hooping right away, & that gave her enough encouragement to keep at the rest. When I taught my husband to hoop, he got elbow hooping on the first day! That blew me away because for me it took well over a month. Every body's different!
This is me. I struggled and struggled with waist hooping, and honestly if I had not worked on other tricks, I would have given up on hooping. But, I was (am) really good at picking up tricks, and I still am not the best waist hooper, but I think a lesson I learned was once you get enough other things going, waist hooping isn't needed to just get lost hoop dancing.
I'm so glad to hear all you guys teaching, are doing this. I took a class from someone a while back, and her whole first class was based on waist hooping. So, out of packed class of 15(!!) people, 5 of us were struggling with waist hooping, and got left behind. She didn't even try to help us. She was so focused on the ones in class who got it. I was so angry, and felt like I wasted my money, and also it just added to my frustration that I was never going to get it no matter how badly I wanted it.
I'm really sorry to hear that about your class. It seems so obvious to me that teachers should be flexible in their approach & work with each student's strengths! I don't teach formally, but I LOVE teaching people to hoop, & one of the things I love most about it is there is truly something for everyone! I'm making a set of minis for my brother right now-- he had no interest in body hooping, but when he saw me playing with minis I think it brought out his inner juggler again! (He used to juggle a lot as a kid.) As for me, I love it all, & just want to share the happiness it brings with whoever will give it a go-- however they want to go about it.
i find that the same thing happens if someone wants me to teach them a trick. what about those people that you explain how to do something to and they have the hand/body positioning wrong, you tell them, but they still keep doing it wrong after repeatedly saying "its like _______" all the while they are saying "i cant do it?" how do you correct them after numerous attempts without sounding too pushy or making them feel dumb? ahh...
Well, I try not to harp on what they're doing wrong once I've pointed it out a few times. I just say that tricks sometimes take a lot of practice to learn, & there were many that took me a while to get.
I myself came to hooping with the conviction that while I was a natural wiggle-worm who always loved to waist hoop, I was way too uncoordinated to do any of the fancy stuff. I was convinced I had no dance or athletic skills at all! But something about hooping just clicked with me & now I'm doing all sorts of things I'd never have dreamed I could. It has really changed my whole mindset about self-limiting thoughts.